The Pittsburgh Pirates are en route to Citizens Bank Park as they will face the Phillies in a four game series extending through the weekend.

This will be the final homestand for the Phillies this season as they will wrap up their season in Atlanta and Miami as they fight for the division title.

The Phillies just came off of a rather successful series against the Baltimore Orioles despite a lot of bad vibes surrounding the team. A blown save, bad defense, a dead offense, and most importantly a game one shutout. Despite these specific embarrassments, they got the job done if you look at the overall picture. They took two of three from the O’s and remain in striking distance of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Due to the St. Louis Cardinals’ 11 game winning streak, it seems as if the wild card is out of the picture with no team closer than four and a half games back.

Here what to look out for during this series.

What happened the last time they met

Their last meeting wasn’t pretty by any means.

In game one, the Pirates shutout the Phils 7-0. In game two, the offensive struggles continued as they lost a tight battle 3-2. But of course, the Phightins did it “the Phillies way” as they had an offensive explosion and won that game 15-4 in order to salvage the series.

On a side note, game three of that series was both Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy’s first appearances for the Phillies. Gibson allowed two runs over six innings and Ian Kennedy allowed a two-run homerun over one inning of work.

Wake up call for Phillies offense

The alarm is sounding in the Phillies clubhouse (pun intended). The Phillies’ offense only produced seven runs in those three games against the Orioles. If the Phils want a chance to gain some ground on the Atlanta Braves, they will have to produce some offense and keep the strikeouts to a minimum.

Against a pitching staff with a combined 5.02 ERA, there are no excuses for a lack of offense throughout this series.

Phillies must capitalize

The Phillies are facing a Pirates team that is first in errors this season. It might seem little, but if the Phillies are not able to capitalize on mistakes by the Pirates, they will most likely be unsuccessful offensively. Throughout this season, we have seen defensive errors the Phillies made come back to bite us. This series will give us an opportunity to be on the receiving side of that for a change.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Aaron Nola (RHP, 8-8, 4.48 ERA) vs. Connor Overton (RHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game 2: Kyle Gibson(RHP, 10–8, 3.51 ERA) vs. TBD
Game 3: Ranger Suárez (LHP, 6–5, 1.60 ERA) vs. Wil Crowe (RHP, 4-7, 5.77 ERA)
Game 4: TBD vs. Max Kranick (RHP, 1-3, 7.28 ERA)

The numbers

Run Differential:
Phillies: -10
Pirates: -205

Runs Scored Per Game:
Phillies: 3.71
Pirates: 4.15

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Phillies: 4.64
Pirates: 5.07

Game times and broadcasts

  • Thursday September 23 at 7:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Friday September 24 at 7:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Saturday September 25 at 4:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Sunday September 26 at 1:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP